May 1988 Forecast -- Flux Range 101 - 149

by Roy, AD5Q - Houston, Texas

April brought us a mostly disturbed ionosphere for the first two weeks of the month with significantly higher fluxes. The A-Index returned to normal first, leaving fluxes in the 140's and excellent band conditions for the second half of the month.

HIGH BANDS: 10 Meters improved with the higher fluxes, opening to eastern Europe and briefly into Russia. May will bring deterioration, as 10 meter condx are seasonally poor in the summer regardless of fluxes. 15 has been staying open into the evening - even later toward the equator. We have had access to Europe most of the day, with a broad opening to the far east in the evening. The rest of Asia has been workable over the pole with many spectacular openings in the morning and early evening. Equatorial stations on the other side of the world are able to work the USA over the pole in late evening (their time). This path seems to skip over Siberia, where 15 is already closed. 20 Meters is even better. The seasonal peak and high fluxes keep the band open most of the night. Most noticeable are the polar openings to Russia, but tune carefully and you will find the band open to over half the world - at once! High MUF's have turned 20 into a nighttime band, with pipeline conditions into morning and evening zones. 20 Meters peaks during late spring, but much of what you hear will continue through the summer.

LOW BANDS: This is not where the action is, and we will not have much to say about low bands for the next few months. 40 is actually in good shape, and will remain open to Europe thru the summer. Hardly anybody is left on 80. If you need southern hemisphere countries on 80, tune patiently thru the noise and you may get lucky.

20 LONG PATH: There is an excellent morning path to Africa and the Indian Ocean, but the other LP circuits are out of season. Later in the sunspot cycle we will get good LP most of the year, even on 15 Meters.

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